Mindfulness is a difficult concept to define as there is not a universal definition for it. The term itself means to be present in the moment, and to look at yourself, your emotions, thoughts and behaviours with an attitude of openness and curiosity. It means to be grounded and look at your experiences without judgement and without criticism.
Mindfulness-based therapy is also referred to as body-based, body-focused, or somatic therapy.
In short, it is a therapeutic approach that is grounded in mindfulness to promote the importance of the body-mind connection in dealing with mental health struggles. Mindfulness techniques can be used in a stand alone therapy session or they can be mixed with other psychotherapeutic methods such as CBT, DBT, and ACT.
Using mindfulness in therapy is not the same as relaxation, although feeling more calm and peaceful are a biproduct of using mindfulness. When we learn to be present with our thoughts and emotions, without trying to push them away or run from them, we can learn to tweak the way we speak to ourselves and how we perceive our experiences.
Yes and no. Meditation can be a component of mindfulness, often referred to as mindful meditation, but mindfulness is not only about meditation. Learning to be in the moment and grounding yourself in the present can be achieved in many different ways, such as using the five senses to tune into the experience or using breathing techniques to get to a state of acceptance.
Mindfulness is often incorporated into other modalities of psychotherapy to offer an integrative approach. Therefore, mindfulness-based approaches often help with developing positive and adaptable coping skills for a variety of mental health struggles such as
The majority of people who have started to use mindful awareness in their every day lives have noted that it allows them to feel